News from the plant

Negotiation Updat 7/23/2014

Today we exchanged counter proposals on the grievance procedure, bereavement, probation, interruptions of work, jury duty,  and health and safety.  We reached our first tentative agreement on bereavement.  We have done extensive work on the grievance procedure and believe we are close.  Stay strong!  Stay involved!

Negotiation Update 7/22/2014

During negotiations today we exchanged several proposals and counter proposals with the company including the grievance procedure, seniority, holidays, and bereavement/funeral leave but haven't yet agreed on anything.  We are working hard to bring back an agreement that is fair to our members.

Negotiations Have Begun

This afternoon the union exchanged proposals with Honeywell.  The company is attempting to destroy the contract once again.  The company seeks to eliminate retiree health care for our members who work in and around radiation everyday proven to cause cancer.  They are also seeking to dismantle the grievance procedure and take away recall rights.  The negotiating committee remains focused on bargaining fairly and in good faith with a reasonable proposal.  All information will be available to our members.  See your CAT Team for updates and information.

Your Negotiating Committee

IB Image

Your Negotiating Committee
Seated from left to right: Steve Glidden, Mike Millsap, Stephen Lech
Standing from left to right: John Paul Smith, Eric McClellan, Michael Chilton, Jamie Eichols, Bobby Don Morgan, Christian Musselman, Doug Caldwell  Not Pictured: Kevin Smith

Honeywell Management Breaks Labor Law On First Day Of Negotiations

In typical fashion Honeywell Management broke the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) this morning when they forced employees to remove contract campaign stickers from their person, a concerted action protected by the act.  The union immediately began to process charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on the issue.  Honeywell wishes to suppress the collective voice of the membership and intimidate employees who are already under enormous stress during the first round of negotiations since the 14 month lockout of 2010-2011.  After the violation was brought to the plant manager's attention, and assuredly corporate legal, management contacted the union and said that they would not discipline employees wearing the stickers but refused to communicate that to the affected employees.

Bargaining begins in four days!

On Monday July 21st, our Union and Honeywell will meet at the bargaining table for the first time since Honeywell locked the Union out for 14 months in 2010.  After three years of lies, intimidation, and broken promises, we are anxious for the opportunity to improve the working conditions of our facility.  The members of our local Union continue to prove every day that they are the safest, most efficient, and most valuable work force available.  

Unfortunately, the company's propaganda machine is already in full motion.  Plant manager Jim Pritchett released a letter today with out right inaccuracies and lies.  The company has also indicated that they may not be able to excuse Union members from work for the purposes of bargaining.  Nobody really knows what Monday will bring, but if the Union's negotiating committee is allowed to be present, we will be ready to bargain.

What he said: The plant employs 270 workers, including 134 that are represented by the USW.

The truth: Honeywell has become a permanent haven for out of state contractors making more in wages and per diem than the local workers.  There are over 100 contractors now at the facility in jobs that local workers used to perform.  Read about their wages here.

What he said: The company’s objective is to reach a new labor agreement that is fair to employees while controlling costs and allowing the plant the necessary flexibility to operate efficiently. Honeywell must maintain the site’s competitiveness and sustainability for the long term in a challenging global marketplace.

The truth: Honeywell has never had a desire to work with the Union.  It is their desire to eliminate Unions that drive them, not competitiveness.  Honeywell has burned bridges with nearly all the customers in the nuclear industry when they sued (force majeure) to be released from their customer obligations in 2010 during the lockout and again in 2012 when they shut the plant down to make seismic upgrades instead of continuing to operate while improvements occurred as they were permitted to do.

What he said: Under U.S. labor law, the company and the union are required to meet at reasonable times in reasonable places and to bargain in good faith over a new labor contract. Neither party is obligated to agree to any particular proposal.

The truth: Honeywell's good faith toward Unions is questionable.  In a leaked document Honeywell describes their strategy to eliminate and prevent Unions.  There is also a pending unfair labor practice charge against Honeywell's Metropolis facility.

What he said: There will be a mediator assigned to the negotiation by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). The FMCS is a government agency that provides a mediator to parties negotiating a labor contract when they request such help. Mediation must be jointly agreed upon by both parties.

The truth: The Union has not requested the assistance of a Mediator from the FMCS and at this point see no need to have a third-party present.  If the company bargains in good faith, there should be no reason for it.  Perhaps they anticipate problems.
 
What he said: The site has accrued significant operating losses over the past decade and is just now starting to break even. We have made progress under the former contract – reached only after an extended lockout – despite terrible market conditions, with nuclear power generation at the lowest levels since 1999. This bad situation has been compounded by the Department of Energy’s practice of flooding the market for several years with uranium and UF6 from its extensive inventories at less than fair market value. This practice, which is being challenged in federal court by the Honeywell partnership that markets the UF6 produced by the Metropolis plant, has significantly reduced demand for our product and driven prices down.
 
The truth: How long will this company complain about losing money?  This plant used to employ less people and make more product than they do now, but yet employs hundreds more contractors.  Anyone who drives past the plant can see that there are double the amount of vehicles parked in the employee parking lot now.  When asked about it, Jim can only respond that they are paid from a different pot of money.  It doesn't take a mathematician to understand that borrowing from one hand to pay the other does not change the fact that you are paying more money. 

Negotiating Committee Ready To Bargain

USW 7-669 Negotiating Committee recently put the finishing touches on contract proposals to be exchanged later this month with the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire August 1st.  The committee has made a commitment to negotiate fair and honest with Honeywell management and hopes to get the same in return.  We look forward to the opportunity to improve the lives and working conditions for our members and continue to make product for our customers.  We will continue to update you regularly on this site.

Company Investigates Restroom Graffiti

The company began an investigation this week on some graffiti that was on a bathroom stall.  Following suit with normal operation, the company started the investigation in the wrong bathroom.  With the upcoming negotiations the writing is also on the wall, but like in the investigation the company probably doesn't know which one....

Contract Update June 4, 2014

As most of you know, your bargaining committee has been preparing for negotiations for some time now.  In addition to this preparation, the union recently held a “Building Power” training conference.  During this conference we began to set up our CAT(Communication and Action Team).  Our CAT is the best way to organize our local and get the best contract possible.  The key to our CAT is the direct one-on-one contact with our members.  Our CAT is your direct link to important information that will be distributed in the future.  The CAT is also the best way to voice any questions or concerns you may have.

Honeywell Begins Implementing Contigency Program. Brand New College Graduates Promised Long Career with Honeywell, Actually Brought to Metropolis as Contingency Workforce.

Even after an unprecedented and history making lock-out in 2010-2011, Honeywell is still not satisfied.  As if it wasn't enough to affect the lives of our local workforce, Honeywell now has plans to use recent Engineering School graduates as their contingency workforce this Summer.  USW 7-669's current collective bargaining agreement expires August 1st.  

The recent college graduates were offered a job with a program that Honeywell calls "Early Career Engineer Rotational Program" or ECERP for short.  You can read Plant Manager Jim Pritchett briefly describe the program in a letter on Honeywell's website.  This seems like a harmless program that might indicate Honeywell's desire to start acting like a responsible corporate citizen.  There's only one problem.  Internal company documents obtained by the Union indicate that these Engineers were brought here as the contingency workforce (or SCABS) for an impending labor dispute.

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